A Hermantown man convicted of sexually assaulting a girl younger than 13 was sentenced to 60 years in prison Wednesday.
Prosecutors believe it's the longest penalty for a sex crime in St. Louis County since the state adopted sentencing guidelines in the early 1980s, a statement from the county attorney says.
In March a jury convicted Brian Arthur Barthman, 47, of six counts of criminal sexual conduct – three are first-degree counts, the other three are second-degree. Judge Shaun Floerke handed down two 30-year sentences, which will be served back-to-back.
Assistant County Attorney Rebekka Stumme, who prosecuted the case, said Wednesday: "Words fail to do justice under these unimaginable circumstances, but this sentence is a good start."
Thanks for other agencies that helped
Prosecutor Stumme says lots of people helped get Barthman convicted. She thanked Hermantown police and the county's social service workers, as well as the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the First Witness Child Advocacy Center.
Sex crimes in Minnesota can range from first-degree criminal sexual conduct all the way through fifth-degree. (Here's an overview of the differences.)
A chart of Minnesota's sentencing guidelines for sex crimes shows they get more severe the longer the offender's criminal history is. A first-degree conviction tops out at 30 years.
State law specifically says sexual contact with someone who's not yet a teenager is a first-degree crime.
Barthman also faces a federal child porn charge. According to a court document in that case, Hermantown police asked for a warrant to search Barthman's home and vehicles after girls aged 12 and 6 had discussions with a school counselor in December of 2015.